Tag Archives: linkedin

She was a pushy dame with an appetite for the limelight…

SpillaneAs a freelancer, I wear two hats: one as a writer, the other as a publication layout artist. The season for my publication layout work runs from August through February, which leaves about five months of unscheduled time to pursue my own projects. Some years I get assigned to write a book, others I go scrounging for piece-work. Last year, I had neither to fill the gap, so I set several of my own ideas in motion: a series of Kindle cookbooks, a line of spice blends, an apron design, a collection of short stories, and a self-published children’s book that had been shelved and forgotten for nearly twenty years.

In the spring and summer of 2012, I managed to lay the foundations, to begin production on all of these projects, and to design a website for each one. But that’s as far as I was able to progress before it was time for the publication layout season to begin again. And now that I’m finished with this year’s edition, I’m once again presented with another five months of unscheduled time to pick up where I left off last August.

The first thing I realized is that I now have to find the most effective way to market what I’ve created. And I know I’m not alone when I say that marketing has never been my forte. I’m sure there are lots of ‘creatives’ out there who would much rather spend their time writing a novel, creating a work of art, composing a song, or in my case…developing a new recipe and photographing the finished dish!

But market I must.

On my very first day of freelancing freedom, while pondering the possibilities for introducing my creations to the world, as if manna from heaven, I happened upon a quote from steamy, noir detective novelist Mickey Spillane, who said: “Wherever I go everybody knows me, but here’s why … I’m a merchandiser, I’m not just a writer. I stay in every avenue you can think of.”

His career spanned more than sixty years, from his early stories in DC Comics and the publication of his first novel, I, the Jury, in 1947, to his death in 2006. He appeared in every medium, from comic books, magazines, and pulp fiction, to movies and television. Several of his novels have been published posthumously, and he now has a presence on the Internet that yields more than 700,000 search results.

Mickey Spillane’s words lit a fuse that sparked fireworks in my imagination, and over the course of a single week, I have explored the promotion of my products via Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Vimeo, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay, Goodreads, Twitter, Google, and Groupon, not to mention the thousands of bloggers who write about the very things that I’ve created. Suddenly there aren’t enough hours in a day, a week, or even five months to pursue them all…but I’m gonna give it my best shot.


CelesteHeiterFZBioCeleste Heiter is the author of Turn Your PC into a Lean Mean Freelancing Machine, the creator of the LoveBites Cookbook Series for Kindle Fire, and the author of Potty Pals , a potty-training book for children. She has also written ten books published by ThingsAsian Press; and spent eight years posting her recipes, food photographs, and film reviews on ChopstickCinema .

Visit her website, and her Amazon Author Page.


Writers – You Need To Be Available

Catherine L. Tully
Catherine L. Tully

by Catherine L. Tully

I was talking with a fellow writer about people who have a poor web presence and I voiced one of my own “pet peeves”. What is it? The person you are unable to find contact information for on their own website.

Is this you?

If so, you might be losing potential clients (and their $$$).

It’s as simple as that.

People have  a low tolerance for spending time online searching around for information. I include myself in this rather large group. I was just looking for a freelance writer or two to solicit a quote from and I went  through five sites that ranged from difficult to impossible to find contact information for the person in charge.

Again….this could cost you money.

This doesn’t just apply to your website, but to your social media accounts as well. Include a link where people can find you on Twitter. Make sure your website is available on your Facebook and LinkedIn pages. If people like what they see, they just might reach out to you…but you have to make it easy for them.

Have you ever had an issue finding contact information on a particular website? If so, did you abandon it…or continue searching? If I can’t find it on the main page, under the “about” tab or under a specific person’s tab, I go elsewhere.

I’m sure I’m not the only one.

And by the way, if you want to contact me, my e-mail addy is info (at) catherineltully (dot) com.

Catherine L. Tully has been a full-time freelance writer since 2002 and is co-founder of Freelance-Zone.com. She is also the owner/editor and webmaster of 4dancers.org, co-founder of Pas de Trois at dancing3.com and owns the group Dance Writers on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn – On Notice

Amanda Smyth Connor1343803_rusty_chain_2

I’ll admit it. I don’t really “get” LinkedIn.

I’ve worked in social media  for about six years. During that time, I have grown to love and understand the intricacies of Facebook and Twitter. But when it comes to LinkedIn, we just never formed a connection. Our synergies never synergized.  We just didn’t click.

Dear LinkedIn. It’s not you…it’s me. Well, maybe it’s you.

Don’t get me wrong. I check LinkedIn frequently. I keep my profile up-to-date and active. I respond to requests for recommendations and connections very quickly. I have my Twitter feed hooked up and running and I obviously use LinkedIn to track what colleagues and clients are up to professionally. However, it feels like so many people are using LinkedIn for the wrong reasons.

I get spammy messages from people looking to rent out office space. I get jerky self-promotional mass emails from connections looking for new projects, and worst of all, I get requests for recommendations from people I have never worked with or have not worked with directly, which just feels really slimy. “Please recommend me even though you have no frame of reference for my work and have no idea what my work ethic is really like.”

So the question remains – is LinkedIn really just a glorified resume platform that occasionally yields a job connection, or is it a highly valuable professional social media tool that I have unfortunately not experienced in the best capacity? From a social media and professional standpoint, I just don’t understand how best to use LinkedIn – which begs the question – how user friendly is LinkedIn if someone like me is asking this question?

Until someone explains how LinkedIn should best be utilized beyond what I’ve stated above, as Colbert says: “LinkedIn – you’re on notice!”

Amanda Smyth Connor is a community manager for a major publishing company, owns her own wedding planning business, and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.

Tasks Every Writer Should Do

Catherine L. Tullyby Catherine L. Tully

If you write for a living you are already aware of the fact that not all of your time is spent writing. Marketing, paperwork and upkeep are all a part of the gig. There are certain tasks you should be spending time on regularly to make sure you keep up. Here’s my own personal short-list:

+ Marketing- marketing these days for me is mostly social media related. I spend time cultivating relationships (and having fun!) on Twitter and Facebook. I also keep my LinkedIn profile up-to-date and periodically ask people for recommendations.

+ Computer stuff- This is crucial. You have to de-fragment your computer, back up your data and make sure your virus scan and updates are all current. If your machine goes down, you’re in big trouble. Set up a maintenance schedule and stick to it!

+ Filing and organizing paper- If you get behind here it can turn into a nightmare of confusion. Keep your contracts on file, make sure your business bank statements are in order and pitch the junk.

+ Deal with your e-mail- Again, this can get messy if you don’t deal. If you use Outlook, create folders for e-mails so you can find them. I do mine by client. Use sub-folders so you can find things quickly. Don’t let too much stack up in your inbox.

+ Check your online presence- Google yourself periodically and see what comes up. Keep an eye out for places that have used your writing without your permission. Save links to articles you have online before they are hard to find. See what’s out there with your name on it. Your reputation is at stake.

These are a few of the things I do on a weekly (or daily)  basis. Do you have any to share? Drop us a comment…

Using Social Media


by Catherine L. Tully

How do you use social media? I’m getting into it pretty heavy and I’m really enjoying what it does for me. Joe and I use Twitter and Facebook for this site (come join us if you haven’t already!), and I use LinkedIn as well. The learning curve on all of them is a little to deal with on the front end, but they are fairly user-friendly overall. It can get a little complicated when you try and use some of the more advanced features, but all writers can benefit from having an account set up.

If you haven’t yet jumped on the social media bandwagon, try it. Set up a Twitter account and tweet. Create a Facebook page for your business. Take the time to walk through the LinkedIn profile and get that out there. It’s worth the effort–trust me!

Linked Up With LinkedIn


 by Catherine L. Tully

Did you know that you can link your WordPress blog up with LinkedIn? You can–and it is really easy. As a matter-of-fact, there are a number of cool things you can do with the applications on this social networking site. Be sure to check them out and see if there is something there that can help you save time or be more organized. LinkedIn is a great resource–I strongly advise setting a page up if you don’t have one already.